Friday, September 27, 2019

Star Wars Jedi Training Academy Birthday Party

My seven year old informed me last year that he wanted a Star Wars birthday party. I'm not especially knowledgeable in all things Star Wars so I headed to my favorite source of inspiration--Pinterest--to search for party and game ideas. Now, Pinterest very rarely lets me down and this was one of the few times it did. No matter how much I searched or how many blog posts I clicked through and read I just wasn't finding any ideas that wow-ed me. As I became more desperate I finally went to my husband for help and, as he often does, he surprised me with a bunch of really creative and fun ideas that I loved. As the pieces of this party started to come together I was getting really excited about it. Me. Getting excited about a Star Wars birthday party. That says a lot. The party turned out to be a blast and I think everyone had a lot of fun, especially the birthday boy.

I didn't take a ton of pictures but I wanted to share some of the fun we had to possibly help anyone who may be looking for their own inspiration for a similar type party.

I love to create digital party invitations for my kids birthdays and I love to send them through Paperless Post. They have a lot of fun options other evite sites don't have, which is why I find their site fun to use. I won't share the invitation I made here since it has too much personal information on it but Pinterest and Etsy are full of creative Star Wars invite ideas.

My seven year old helped me create this chalk board art and added his own special touch with the lightsaber drawing. The Jedi robe is a favorite dress up that his grandma made him a few years ago.

Blowing Up the Death Star
As the party began and friends trickled in everyone kept busy making paper air planes and aiming them for the Death Star in an attempt to blow it up.  The kids had a blast and could have done this all day. It was hard to pull them away and move on to the next thing. This Death Star is a beach ball that my son got for his birthday a few years ago. I found it on Amazon for around $5. 


Obstacle Course in the Swamp with Yoda
We then headed down to the basement where we trained with Yoda in the swamp. We showed a little clip from the movie on our projector where Obi-Wan Kanobi talks about what a Jedi is and what the force is (because I figured some kids might not know), and then had the kids take this little Yoda through an obstacle course that was set up in the basement.

Using the Force
After that, all the friends got to practice using the force by moving some meteorites. I had two big balls of foil sitting on a long toy shelf. There was some fishing line attached and looped through a beam overhead. My 10 and 12 year olds hid behind the shelf and pulled the fishing line to have the "meteorite" rise as each party go-er  used the force. The kids were really surprised at first to see the meteorites move. It was fun to see the reaction on their faces. It didn't take them long to figure out what was actually happening but they still had a lot of fun.

Lightsaber Training
Then it was time for lightsaber training. I lucked out finding some lightsabers at the dollar store for the kids to use. They worked perfectly for our party and when the party was over the kids got to take one home as a party favor. My husband is the best and agreed to lead the kids in this activity and taught them some moves like they do at the Jedi Training Academy at Disneyland. If you search YouTube you can find a bunch of videos of it to help you understand what I'm talking about. It was fun to see the kids take it so seriously and really enjoy it.

And then . . . (cue the music) Darth Vader walked around the corner and down the stairs! My bestest ever 12 year old wore her little brothers jacket and a Darth Vader mask that I found at Target's dollar spot. Each newly trained Jedi then got to battle Darth Vader (background music included). 

"The force is weak with you. Join the dark side and together we can rule the galaxy!"

Lightsaber Balloon Game
Of course we defeated Darth Vader and celebrated with a bunch of balloons. We used the balloons to play a game using the lightsabers to try and keep the balloons from touching the ground.

We then headed upstairs and continued our celebration of defeating Darth Vader by eating Wookie cookies and opening presents.

These cute little Wookies were fun to make. I used a gingerbread man cookie cutter and added the marks with a fork before baking. Once the cookies cooled I piped on the details using melted chocolate chips and white chocolate chips. I thought they turned out to be a fun treat. The birthday boy sure liked them!

Lightsaber Limbo and Hot Potato Yoda
After treats we still had some time left so we played a few more games that the birthday boy came up with. First we played lightsaber limbo by limbo-ing under a lightsaber. Then we played hot potato with our cute little plush Yoda. I thought they were such creative ideas and a lot of fun!

From the amount of fun I saw everyone having I would call this party a success! I think the birthday boy made a lot of fun memories and had a blast with his friends. This will definitely be a party we will remember for a long time.

Check out our other birthday parties:

(Not Your Everyday) Princess Birthday Party

Lets Get Crafty

Pirate Party Treasure Hunt

Monday, July 8, 2019

3D Perler Bead Pokeball

This post is long overdue but here are the instructions on how to make a 3D perler bead pokeball as promised.
(Find our 3D Perler Bead Pikachu instructions HERE.)

The colors can be arranged to make other designs too. My 10 year old informed me that pictured bellow is a greatball, pokeball, and ultraball.

Here are all the pieces ironed and ready to start building. The key to making your pokeball come together easily is to iron the pieces just enough to have them melt together. If you use too much heat and pressure so that the pieces get too flat it will be hard for the pieces to fit together easily.

Putting your pokeball together is kind of like building a 3D puzzle. The pieces fit and lock together. Follow the visual instructions below to build your pokeball.

These come together pretty easily. You can really get carried away and create all kinds of designs with these (I know my kids did!). Let your creativity soar and have fun!

Find our 3D Perler Bead Pikachu instructions HERE.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Healthy No Bake Cookies

No-bake cookies were a favorite of mine as a girl. I wanted to share this childhood favorite with my kids but most no-bake cookie recipes call for a whopping two cups of sugar! This grown up healthier version tweaks the ingredients a tad to make them better for you. Instead of all that sugar these cookies are sweetened with only 1/3 cup honey. I think this recipe tastes just as good as the original except that I feel better feeding it to my family.

We have a peanut allergy in our house so instead of the the traditional peanut butter I use sunflower seed butter and we like them just as much that way. I also like to use a combination of old fashioned oats and quick oats to add some variety to the texture. If you only have one or the other on hand just use what you have and they will still be delicious.

Healthy No-Bake Cookies


1 cup sunflower seed butter or other nut butter
1/3 cup raw honey
1/4 cup grass fed butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup quick oats
3 tablespoons cocoa powder

Get the rest of the recipe over at Nourishing Bites.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

(Not Your Everyday) Princess Birthday Party

I've been wanting to share with you the princess party my older kids and I threw for this sweet and spunky four year old. Turning four at our house is a pretty big deal since it is traditionally the first year I throw my kids a birthday party with friends.  

My daughter wanted a princess party so a princess party it was. I love designing my kids party invitations and my favorite way to send them is through Paperless Post. I love this online invitation sight over others because it allows me to upload and send the 5x7 invitations I create. They also have a lot of pre-made invitations and unique options that other sites don't offer like envelopes.

My daughter has a lot of friends that are boys so my 12 year old and I brainstormed how we could make this princess party really fun for them too without things being too frilly or girly. We decided that we would take the kids on a royal quest to get to the ball. It ended up being so much fun! This party idea would also work great for a prince or knight party--or even a combined princess/knight party!

When the party goers arrived they were invited to decorate a party bag. We provided lots of stickers and markers for them to make their bag unique and we made sure everyone put their name on it so they wouldn't get mixed up with someone elses.

As the kids were finishing up my 12 year old arrived dressed up like a royal messenger a read to them a proclamation from the king and queen. It said the king and queen were throwing a ball for the birthday girl but they must complete a quest to get to the ball. They would have to cross a treacherous bridge to acquire a enchanted potion, help rescue some baby unicorns, and unlock a secret door to retrieve a magical weapon in case they encountered a dragon. When they arrive at the ball they will be crowed for their brave accomplishments. They were then invited to take their party bag and follow her into the next room to begin their quest and play the first game.


Before the kids were sent on their quest they were to receive a farewell token from a prince or princess. We played pin-the-kiss on the prince (or princess). After completing the game each child got a few Hershey kisses to add to their party bag.

We then headed upstairs where the kids were faced with a treacherous bridge to cross. They walked across the balance beam (the balloons represented water) and when they got to the other side they received a enchanted potion (bubbles) to add to their party bag.

Then we headed downstairs to the basement. This is where we had to rescue the baby unicorns. I had an obstacle course set up down there for the kids to complete. When they got to one end of the course they got to pick a baby unicorn from the nest to add to their party bag. They then would finish the course and tag the next friend for their turn.

Our last game required the kids to unlock a secret door to retrieve a magical weapon. To play this game they had to throw a bean bag into the keyhole cutout of a box. After throwing their beanbag in they received their magical weapon. The girls got wands and the boys got small daggers (that my older kids so generously made out of perler beads.)

These weapons sure came in handy too because as they came back upstairs there was a dragon waiting around the corner. To get by they simply had to aim their weapon at the dragon (who was my very helpful nine year old) and he would cower allowing them to pass. 

Getting past the dragon completed the quest! At the top of the stairs the king (who was my very sweet six year old all dressed up) congratulated everyone and crowned each party goer for completing the quest and making it to the ball.

Everyone was then granted entrance into the ball and we had a fun and fabulous freeze dance party.

When we were all tired out from freeze dancing the birthday girl got to open presents and then we all enjoyed some fairy princess wand rice crispy treats.

It was a super fun morning and I think everyone had a blast! I especially have to thank my 12, 9, and 6 year old children who helped me brainstorm ideas for this party (the best ideas were theirs!) and for helping me to pull it off. They are the best!

And happy happy birthday to my sweet four year old! We sure love you! 

I hope this post inspires you if you are creating your own princess (or knight) birthday party.

Check out our other party ideas:

Star Wars Jedi Training Academy

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Young Women Values Magnets (Includes Free Download)

We had a successful activity at our church youth night recently. The young women created a bucket list of things they wanted to complete in the next year or two and then they made these cute little pebble magnets to remind them of the Young Women Values. They're a fun size and can be used in their school locker, on a memo board, or on any magnetic surface in their room. The girls seemed to enjoy the activity and the magnets came together nicely in the hour we were together.

The girls had two choices to pick from. They could have a colored background with white lettering or a white background with colored lettering. The clear pebble stones I got where between 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch. They can sometimes be found at Dollar Tree but most craft stores should have them also.

To make the magnets I found it works best to place the pebble on top of the paper, centering it on the lettering, and trace around it with a pencil. Cut out the circle just on the inside of the traced circle. Brush a very thin layer of mod podge onto the flat surface of the pebble and place the paper on top, lettered side down. Allow to dry an few minutes and then apply a magnet. If your magnet does not have self adhesive, glue on the magnet using a hot glue gun. Using another kind of glue will cause the ink to bleed and ruin your whole project. (Trust me on this one. I know from sad experience.)

Hopefully these cute little magnets can act as a reminder to the girls of the values they hold and also to be working on their Personal Progress.

Feel free to download my template to make your own pebble magnets.
(For personal use only. Thanks!)



I made a 4x6 memo board to display the magnets on by using this fun frame from IKEA and a scrap piece of sheet metal. It worked well to temporarily to show off these little gems.

If you have any questions be sure ask! If you give this project a try leave a comment and let me know how it went.

Have fun!